“Rise is the tallest piece of public art ever commissioned in Northern Ireland…”

The Belfast Telegraph reports that construction work has begun on Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress’ 37.5 metres tall, 30 metre wide, ‘Rise’ sculpture at the Broadway Junction – a year later than was expected in 2009.  From the Belfast Telegraph report

The massive silver and white steel sculpture, which will be taller than the city’s Albert Clock, is being built at the Broadway Roundabout — just yards from where some householders still have outside toilets.

Designed by Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress, it is made up of two globes which are meant to symbolise the rising of the sun and new hope for Belfast’s future. It will appear to rest on a bed of reeds — a reference to the natural heritage of the neighbouring Bog Meadows and will have lights at the end of each reed reflecting on to the globes.

‘Rise’ was selected in 2008 after the original 2005 selected design, ‘Trillian’, by Oregon-based artist Ed Carpenter, was crushed, reportedly due to the escalating cost of steel.

The Belfast Telegraph report tells us

Rise cost £486,000 — £330,000 of which has come from the DSD, £100,000 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, through Lottery funding, and £56,000 from Belfast City Council.

When built it will dwarf the Beacon of Hope in Thanksgiving Square, which at 19.5 metres tall is currently the largest piece of public art in Belfast.

Construction work is expected to take around 12 weeks, and it is thought the sculpture will be completed at the end of June.

The globes are expected to be put in place in about two weeks’ time.

The ‘globes’ are, apparently, already being referred to as “The Balls on the Falls”.  ‘Alan in Belfast’ was at a public meeting about the sculpture in November last year, and spoke to the artist responsible.

Wolfgang Buttress / RISE from Alan in Belfast on Vimeo.